Japanese car maker Toyota is gearing up to expand its SUV range in the Indian market. According to the sources, the company is seriously evaluating the prospects of bringing the Corolla Cross alike product to our shores and if that happens, the new SUV will take on the likes of the Hyundai Tucson and Jeep Compass as well. Reports says that it is codenamed 340D (not to be confused or made fun of with a BMW platform sharing in the comments, please.)
A significant factor that makes the Corolla Cross a viable option for the Indian market is its GA-C platform that the SUV shares with the Innova Hycross. This means Toyota can easily share components, powertrains, and other structural and mechanical bits to spawn Corolla Cross alike SUV for Indian buyers. While Hycross has a 2850mm wheelbase which is quite long compared to the 2640mm of Corolla Cross that is sold abroad, Toyota could possibly add 150mm to wheelbase to add a third row of seats, making it quite an attractive proposition for the Indian market.
The addition of an extra row of seats should entail Toyota to offer two variants. A 5-seater and a 7-seater. Specifically, alterations are likely to appear on the C and D pillars of the SUV and to distinguish its identity, the front fascia is also likely to use new design elements compared to the overseas model. We also expect features such as the flat floor, electric tailgate, and longer doors to manifest on the new product. Further, GA-C platform capabilities will allow Toyota to use a rigid underbody for bringing extra safety and strength to the SUV.
In terms of engine options, Toyota can offer 2.0-litre M20A-FKS petrol and its strong hybrid iteration to prospective buyers. The engine is good for 184bhp and 206Nm and thanks to its hybrid nature, it is likely to return a decent fuel efficiency too. In sum, if Toyota decides to launch the SUV in the Indian market, it is expected to come at a premium price and can bring a chunk of buyers to the company’s portfolio. This will hit the brands like Hyundai and Jeep more because Toyota’s strong reliability, high mileage from petrol, making for a case of defiling acceptance of diesel where these brands excel.